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Monday, 18 April 2011

Everyone Needs a Holiday

Everyone needs a holiday to refresh their body and mind, to be-able to relax and have a break from the routine of everyday life. I have just returned from a lovely relaxing holiday in Cyprus. The hotel was excellent and the weather warm and sunny so I am now refreshed and ready to do everything I can to help my customers relax, unwind and enjoy the beautiful surroundings of The New Forest National Park. I understand that the weather was lovely while I was away and The Cloud Hotel was fully booked but I am in the lucky position of having excellent staff who I know continue to give the caring and excellent customer service that is expected of them.I am sorry if I missed seeing some of my many regular customers and also any new customers but I'm confident my staff looked after you and made you feel welcome.

Easter is only a few days away and the New Forest National Park is coming to life with the fresh green shoots appearing on the trees and the yellow gorse bringing a mass of colour to the area. I spotted a baby donkey in the forest yesterday, he was so cuddly and tiny with great big ears I wanted to stroke him but just like the New Forest ponies you must keep your distance and only look and admire the animals. Although the ponies look docile they are wild and sometimes will give you a nasty bite or kick and you are taking a great risk if you get too close and try to stroke them. Why not take advantage of our late special offer for Easter. Stay 2 nights and get the third night free from £187-00 per person dinner bed and breakfast. There are only a few rooms left so don't delay if you would like to experience the peace and tranquility of the Cloud Hotel.

Spring is a wonderful time to escape to the New Forest and enjoy the freedom of the wide open spaces for walking, cycling or riding. If you don't fancy sitting in traffic jams over Easter come by train and if you let us know when you are arriving we will pick you up from Brockenhurst station at bring you to the Cloud Hotel.

Exbury Gardens is a lovely place to visit this time of the year with the rhododendrons, camellias, magnolias bursting into flower from April to Mid May. Exbury's woodland floors are carpeted with bluebells at the moment and for those people who are unable to walk long distances the Exbury Gardens Railway is a wonderful way to see the gardens.

The weather forecast is good for Easter so wherever you are spending it I wish you a very happy and peaceful Easter.


Saturday, 2 April 2011

The Top 100 Most Influential Women in Hospitality Travel and Tourism

Cloud Hotel Proprietor Avril Owton voted in the Top 100 Most Influential Women in Hospitality, Leisure, Travel and Tourism 2011

On Thursday March 31st I attended the Women 1st Top 100 Most Influential Women in Hospitality, Leisure, Travel and Tourism and Shine awards at the fabulous newly refurbished Savoy Hotel in London. Women 1st was launched in 2009 by Cherie Blair and is an initiative from People 1st, the sector skills council for hospitality, leisure, travel and tourism to address the lack of representation of women in senior positions. Since its launch it has provided opportunities for over 400 women to undertake tailored development training and to provide mentoring to support them in their career. The event was attended by 250 people, mainly women  and was all about celebration and launched the inaugural Top 100 Most Influential Women in the sector  recognising the impact and influence women have throughout the industry. The evening started with a champagne reception where we all had the chance to catch up with friends and colleagues, The room was buzzing with excitement and lots of chat. Dinner was served in the River Room and we all waited with baited breath to hear the results. I can't tell you how excited and thrilled I was when a photo of me appeared on the screen to learn I had been voted one of The Top 100 Most Influential Women in Hospitality along with Delia Smith, Nigella Lawson and Prue Leith and many others! It is such an honour to be amongst such high profiled women and I will continue to encourage young women to  reach their full potential. After a delicious 3 course dinner the main awards were presented.The event was compared by Gaby Roslin, one of the country's most popular television presenters who was not only entertaining but also very amusing and natural. You can see all the results including the 5 individual awards and the 2 business Shine Awards celebrating outstanding achievements on
It was a great night full of inspirational women and I was lucky enough to be accompanied by Clive and Jennifer Deakin who have been a great support to me over many years.

The Cloud Hotel is at last on Face book and you can keep up with all the news, events and special offers. I am not a techie but with the help of my web designer Karl Jones I am improving my skills and hope to be as good as my young grandchildren one day!

Always being on the look out for new ideas I attended a fascinating workshop presented by Emma James of and Stephen Burge of BH1 promotions  about Lumpy Mail. Marketing. Lumpy Mail is an American idea [surprise, surprise] but the Americans certainly know how to market themselves and get new business. It would take too long for me to explain it to you but all information about Lumpy Mail can be found on and if you are interested in getting more information contact either Emma of Tasty marketing or Stephen of BH1 promotions.

Easter will soon be here and as it is late in the calendar this year there is a good chance of there being some good weather for us to enjoy. The New Forest foals will be appearing soon and the New Forest is coming alive with fresh green shoots on the trees. Bring your walking boots and enjoy the clean fresh air and wide open spaces in The New Forest National Park right on the doorstep of the Cloud Hotel.

Let us take the stress out of your life and come and unwind and relax at The Cloud Hotel. I look forward to your company.